Preparing an estate plan is a significant undertaking, encompassing different structures that you employ to protect your interests during your lifetime and after you pass away. When you and your spouse completed all essential tasks, you certainly felt a sense of accomplishment.
However, as time goes by, your relationship can change, and you may be considering divorce. Fortunately, Ohio probate law provides that all dispositions of property you might have made to your spouse, now ex, are revoked. Any powers your spouse might have been granted under the will are also terminated.
Though divorce essentially takes away any authority or interest your ex-spouse may have by operation of law, there are still some tasks to take on after your divorce. As you know, from preparing your original plan, you would need to revisit and make adjustments for life changes. Divorce is precisely the life change that necessitates a review. An Ohio estate planning attorney can help with the important tasks, including:
Change Provisions in Your Will or Trust: When you created your will and/or trust, you likely appointed your spouse to act as the executor and successor trustee (after you). These appointments are nullified by the statute, but you should update your documents to account for the empty position. An adult child or other trusted source would be appropriate.
In addition, any bequests to your ex-spouse are voided by divorce. These items become part of your estate to be distributed to all beneficiaries, which is perhaps not the result you intended.
Alter Other Estate Planning Documents: When you prepared your estate plan, you probably created different documents that would safeguard your interests if you become incapacitated. You should officially remove your spouse and make proper changes to:
Update Beneficiaries: Part of estate planning is developing a strategy to avoid probate, which many people do by naming beneficiaries on accounts. With a Transfer-on-Death (TOD) or Pay-on-Death (POD) account, you name a person who will receive the proceeds upon your death. The asset does not go through probate, but it goes directly to the beneficiary upon presentation of ID and a death certificate. If your ex is a beneficiary on a POD account, you need to make changes.
Life Insurance and Divorce: In some cases, a divorce court will require a party to obtain a life insurance policy to secure that person’s obligations for alimony or child support. The beneficiary would be your ex-spouse, which is an unexpected outcome. However, this solution best protects your children by providing a financial safety net if a parent dies.
If you are going through a divorce and need to make changes to your estate plan, you can trust our team at Fout Law Office, LLC in North Canton, OH. Please contact our firm to set up a consultation with an Ohio estate planning attorney. We can explain how modifications to your estate plan after divorce are essential for protecting your rights.
Though the term does not include any defined age brackets, gray divorce in Ohio generally involves older individuals who are seeking to dissolve their marriage. The parties may be approaching…
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Teresa is a very professional legal representative that was very patient with me and very comforting. She took the time to answer and clarify, if needed, any questions I had. She was very helpful and knew the laws and how to handle what I would call a difficult situation. She even assisted me after the divorce was final with some advice I needed and was there for me even with her busy caseload. I would certainly recommend her to anyone that would need her services.
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